Retired Gaithersburg Marine battling renal failure proposes at the White House
WASHINGTON (NewsChannel 8) – A young, retired Gaithersburg Marine suffering from renal failure is looking for a second chance on his wedding anniversary, so he turned to a Pittsburgh organization that helped make his dreams come true.
Sergeant Ronnie Pulley met the love of his life in Japan.
"It was love at first sight; she thinks she picked me out of the crowd and I think I picked her," he said.
"He's my best friend and my soul mate—my other half," said Boksil Choi, Sgt. Pulley's wife.
The Gaithersburg man proposed more than once.
"Actually, the first couple times I asked her, she said no," Sgt. Pulley said.
Their wedding was held in a courthouse in Japan—nothing fancy. They celebrated with ice cream after. Therefore, on their fifth wedding anniversary Thursday, Sgt. Pulley wanted another shot.
On bended knee in front of the White House, he had this to say to his wife:
"If I had three wishes, I would wish for three more lives with you forever, my sweet princess. I was asking, well, I wanted to know, would you marry me again?"
"I’m so happy," Choi said after the proposal.
Sgt. Pulley wants a second chance in love and life. For three years, the 25-year-old has battled renal failure.
"If there was a stop button, I probably would have pushed it already, but [Choi] was my support, my backbone, said, ‘Baby, can't quit; we have two kids we have to take care of,’" said Sgt. Pulley.
This wasn't just a proposal.
"We're gonna do a whole other wedding in the States for you," Jamie Holmes, founder of Jamie's Dream Team, told the couple.
Jamie’s Dream Team, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit, helps make wishes come true for people and families suffering from illnesses. Holmes says Sgt. Pulley's story touched her deeply.
"His dream wasn't selfish … he wanted to give his wife a dream, who takes care of him, who means something to him," said Holmes.
It's a wedding the Pulleys could only dream of.
"I want a long gown, mermaid style, I want to wear that," Choi exclaimed.
"She really supported me and she deserves to have that wonderful day that I think all women should get," said Sgt. Pulley.
The couple has two children, Christian and Romeo.
Maryland Congressman John Delaney's office helped arrange the plans in Washington, D.C., including a tour through the White House, prior to the proposal.
Jamie's Dream Team is looking for volunteers and donations to help make the wedding a reality.
Sgt. Pulley continues to look for a kidney donor. His brother set up a website to help with the search process.